John Henry Empey

October 30, 1943 ~ October 10, 2019 (age 75)


Obituary for John Empey


Dr. John Henry Stewart Empey

Born: October 30th, 1943, Dublin, Ireland

Died: October 10th, 2019, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Aged: 75 years


John was born and spent much of his first decade in Dublin, but also lived in Belfast and Coleraine in Northern Ireland. John attended Queen’s University, Belfast, where he graduated as a Doctor of Medicine.  He married Rosemary Ginn in 1969 and their son Michael was born in 1972.  The family emigrated to Canada in 1973, where John became a partner in the Medical Centre practice in Barrhead, Alberta.  Daughter Caroline was born in 1975.  In addition to his successful medical practice, John soon developed a penchant for amateur singing and theatre, and was involved in local a capella and drama groups in Barrhead.  Rosemary was killed in a car accident in 1991 and in 1994, John married fellow singer Mona Bell.  The two retired to Chemainus on Vancouver Island where they became members of the local Communities in Bloom society, as well as many local choirs.  John achieved success as a bass in the local singing community, and went on several trips to Europe and Asia with various singing organizations.  He was due to leave again in the summer of 2019, when a precautionary angiogram resulted in multiple-bypass heart surgery in the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria.  While his recovery initially went well, John developed pneumonia and the resulting chest and lung infections severely hampered his recovery.  After his medical team had exhausted all reasonable interventions it was ultimately decided to take John off life-support, and he died peacefully in his sleep.


John was predeceased by his first wife Rosemary and parents Cecil and Doris Empey of Rostrevor, Northern Ireland.  He leaves behind second wife Mona Bell of Chemainus, B.C., son Michael (Heather) Empey and grandchildren Sean and Caitlin of Prince George, B.C., daughter Caroline (Cameron) Devenny of Edmonton, Alberta, brother Terence (Sandra) Empey of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, as well as extended relations and friends.


A gathering of family and friends will take place on November 2nd from 3 to 5 pm at the family home in Chemainus.

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